Shashikala's turn to receive a windfall

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Sonkhas, Maharashtra, Aug 28 (UNI) After Kalavati, Rahul Gandhi's poster woman symbolising country's downtrodden who needed emancipation as India unfolds its progress chapter, it was Shashikala's turn to receive a windfall as NGO 'Sulabh' handed over a cheque of Rs two lakh to her family glide over the ominous tidings of poverty.

Shashikala's family would also receive Rs 20 lakh soon which would help them for the next 20 years - through interest delivery from this sum.

Handing over the cheque to Shashikala at her village here, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, founder 'Sulabh International', called upon country's numerous millionaires to join hands in removing poverty from the country's face.

''If the country needs to actually progress and stand among the comity of developed nations, people with resources ought to come forward to help the poor and downtrodden break free from the vicious cycle of debt, dearth and death.'' Taking it as his 'manav dharma' (humanity) which prompted him to help Kalavati and Shashikala, the philathrophist said even normal people can adopt one family with a latent feeling to help which could wipe out much of the poverty around us.

''Even the government could help with crop insurance so that farmers do not commit suicide. It's just the will which is needed.

Even if all MPs/MLAs adopt one family each, nearly five to six thousand families could be saved from impending death.'' On why just these two, when millions of such families existed, he said, ''I have just showed the way for others to follow. People who feel and are concerned must join the crusade.'' Calling it a shame that despite vast natural resources and human power the country remained steeped in poverty due to mismanagement, Dr Pathak said on his part he was setting up a 'Rich-Unrich Society' which would take care of the 'other millions', besides Kalavati and Shashikala, with the help of others.

''I would soon be going around seeking help from country's various millionaires, NRIs and business houses to facilitate a fund that could take care of some problems which the poor and needy face - like that of debt and subsequent suicides.'' Accompanied by his wife Ramola, Dr Pathak gave Rs two lakh cheque, a saree and a shawl to 'honour' the lady, Shashikala, and bring about a change in the family's fortune.

He also promised a job to every youth of the village within the 'Sulabh' establishment, provided they were willing to step out of Nagpur, besides establishing a training institute in Sonkhas village, on the lines of Alwar, to equip people stand on their own.

The 'Sulabh' founder also gave Rs two lakh to the widow of Kailash Bhagat, another resident of Sonkhas village, with a population of about 900 people, who died in an accident.

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